Paris: France winger Mathieu Valbuena was in a class of his own as he set up three goals in a 4-0 victory at home to Norway to help his side start their World Cup warm-up games in style.
Valbuena excelled in a one-sided encounter, providing perfect crosses for Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud, who netted twice, to get on the scoresheet along with substitute Loic Remy.
In Seoul, a ragged South Korea were given a wake-up call as they slumped to a disappointing 0-1 home defeat by Tunisia on Wednesday before they leave to prepare for the finals.
The home side were also given a fright when defender Hong Jeong-ho was forced off after 13 minutes with an ankle problem, following a heavy tackle from behind by forward Issam Jemaa.
The 24-year-old Augsburg centre back, who missed the 2012 London Olympics because of a broken leg, suffered bruising, officials said, playing down fears he would miss the World Cup.
The Koreans will need the defender’s composure if they are to progress in the tournament after their backline was exposed badly in his absence, with Zouheir Dhaouadi allowed to burst through and fire home the only goal a minute before halftime, which stunned the hosts.
France, who face Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E at next month’s World Cup, will play Paraguay in Nice on June 1 and then Jamaica in Lille on June 8 before flying to Brazil.
Midfielder Pogba headed home in the 15th minute, striker Giroud volleyed the second in the 51st and Remy got the third after 67 minutes from Mathieu Debuchy’s pass as Les Bleus played their last game at the Stade de France before the World Cup.
Giroud rubbed salt in Norway’s wounds by heading the fourth two minutes later after being set up again by Valbuena. France coach Didier Deschamps said, “Scoring four goals is never easy at international level, it’s good for our confidence.”
Deschamps rested goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and winger Franck Ribery, who has been struggling with back pains.